Georgia Pollinator Plants of the Year Program

What is the Georgia Pollinator Plants of the Year Program?

 

The Georgia Pollinator Plants of the Year program annually recognizes four top performing landscape plants that support pollinators and grow beautifully in a garden. Plants will be recognized and promoted from the following categories: Spring Bloomer, Summer Bloomer, Fall Bloomer and Georgia Native. Seasonal selections may or may not be native.

Nominations are solicited from gardeners throughout Georgia and are then determined by a selection committee based on each plant’s horticultural value, ease of propagation and ecological significance. The selection committee has chosen the winning plants for the year 2022, providing interested growers a full year to increase their stock of these plants.

Our Goals

  • Create a network of horticultural professionals through which plant materials and propagation techniques can be shared.
  • Increase statewide availability and diversity of pollinator-supporting plants for consumers.
  • Educate consumers about the increasingly important impact that landscaping and home gardens can have on pollinator populations.

We recognize the need for collaboration across all steps of production and marketing, from grower to consumer, in order to improve availability of appropriate pollinator supporting plants statewide. This program represents the combined efforts of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, growers, entomologists, landscape professionals and conservationists across the state.

Get Involved

Plant lovers – Nominate your favorite pollinator plants. Anyone can participate in the nomination process. We want to know which plants Georgians think perform well in their gardens and support high pollinator diversity.

Nominate A Plant

Growers – Help us grow more of the winning plants. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will serve as a seed source for difficult to find plant selections. Limited quantities available.

Retailers – Let us know if you carry any of the winning plants in your store. We want to celebrate growers and retailers who are increasing the availability of pollinator plants.

Gardeners – Plant winning plants in your garden. Click here for a list of participating retailers.

Spring Bloomer – Carolina Lupine
Thermopsis villosa

About: Carolina Lupine is a 4-foot-tall perennial wildflower in the pea family. In spring, this plant has tall spikes of eye-catching canary yellow flowers.

Propagation: Easy to propagate from seed. May benefit from soaking seeds in hot water before sowing.

Growing Conditions: Prefers full to part sun in well-drained garden soil with average to high moisture.

Conservation Value: Supports many native bees and other pollinators. Leafcutter bees utilize the foliage for nesting.

Consumer Appeal: Tall yellow flower spikes are striking in mid-spring and last several weeks. Seed pods provide an interesting structure into the fall. It is low-maintenance.

 

Summer Bloomer – Mountain Mints
Pycnanthemum species: Pycnanthemum incanum, P. flexuosum, P. muticum, P. tenuifolium, P. virginianum

About: Each of the selected Mountain Mints are 3 to 4 feet tall, with long-lasting white summer blooms that attract many different pollinators.

Propagation: Easy to propagate from seed, cuttings and division.

Growing Conditions: Prefers full to part sun in well-drained garden soil with low to average moisture.

Conservation Value: Supports many native bees, wasps and butterflies.

Consumer Appeal: Mountain Mints are low-maintenance and grow in a variety of soil types, from sand to clay. They bloom from early summer through fall with tiny white flowers, often speckled pink. Their foliage can be very pleasantly aromatic.

 

Fall Bloomer – Blue Mist
Conoclinum coelestinum

About: Blue Mist is a perennial wildflower in the sunflower family that grows 3 to 4 feet tall with bright blue flowers from late summer into fall.

Propagation: Easy to propagate from seed, cuttings and division.

Growing Conditions: Prefers full to part sun in well-drained to average garden soil with high to low moisture.

Conservation Value: Supports many native bees, including leafcutter bees, and butterflies.

Consumer Appeal: Blue Mist is a low-maintenance wildflower that grows in a variety of soil types, from sand to clay. They bloom profusely from late summer through fall with clusters of bright blue petal-less flowers.

 

Georgia Native – Coral Honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

About: Coral Honeysuckle is a perennial blooming vine with woody twining stems that bloom with tubular red and yellow flowers throughout much of the year.

Propagation: Easy to propagate from seeds and cuttings.

Growing Conditions: Prefers full to part sun in well-drained to average garden soil with average moisture.

Conservation Value: Supports bumble bees, small bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. The leaves support the larval stage of clearwing moths and azure butterflies. Finches, thrushes and robins feed on the fruits in winter.

Consumer Appeal: Coral Honeysuckle is a low-maintenance vine easily controlled with periodic pruning. It can bloom into December and as early as February and is semi-evergreen with red berries providing year-round interest. It is consistently visited by sulfur butterflies and hummingbirds.